Aquarium of the Bay
Come face-to-face with the sharks of Alcatraz in one of three tunnels, admire the diverse wildlife of San Francisco Bay’s shallow mudflats, and explore schools of anchovies that live off the coast of California. Touch pools and interactive lab stations offer the opportunity to immersive engagement, too.
Several passes, such as the San Francisco CityPASS, Go San Francisco card, Pier 39 Attractions Pass, Fisherman’s Wharf Pass, and Alcatraz Attraction Pass, include admission to the Aquarium of the Bay. Hop-on hop-off bus tours also stop at Pier 39 and you can also prepurchase general admission to the aquarium online.
Recent reviews from experiences in San Francisco
Things to Know Before You Go
Book a skip-the-line tour to avoid waiting in line at this busy Fisherman’s Wharf attraction.
The aquarium is quite small and easily combined with other sights around Fisherman’s Wharf.
A must-do for families with young children or anyone interested in learning more about the ecology of the San Francisco Bay region.
Present a current Bay Area public transport pass for $2 off the admission price.
How to Get There
Located two piers east of Fisherman’s Wharf, the Aquarium of the Bay is most easily accessible by public transportation. San Francisco Muni’s E and F street car lines stop within a block of the Aquarium of the Bay. SF Muni 8, 39, and 47 bus lines also stop nearby. There's wheelchair-accessible parking across from the main entrance at Pier 39 and additional parking at Pier 35.
When to Get There
Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay are busiest during the summer months. A visit during winter or early spring means quieter galleries. The aquarium is open every day from the mid-morning until the evening; late afternoons are the quietest times to visit. The aquarium is closed on Christmas Day.
Feed the Sharks
Aquarium of the Bay tours (not included with general admission tickets) offer a deeper dive into the inner workings of an aquarium. One tour takes visitors across catwalks above the tanks to learn about dive operations and how to care for marine life, while another allows visitors to feed sharks, rays, and skates.
- Things to do in California
- Things to do in Sausalito
- Things to do in Napa & Sonoma
- Things to do in Yosemite National Park
- Things to do in Paso Robles
- Things to do in San Luis Obispo
- Things to do in Pismo Beach
- Things to do in Santa Barbara
- Things to do in Santa Monica
- Things to do in Los Angeles
- Things to do in Long Beach
- Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park
- Things to do in La Jolla
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Oregon
- Pier 39
- Angel Island State Park
- San Francisco Cruise Port
- SS Jeremiah O'Brien
- Madame Tussauds San Francisco
- San Francisco Dungeon
- Fisherman's Wharf
- Coit Tower
- USS Pampanito
- The Cannery
- James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27
- Saints Peter and Paul Church
- San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
- Hyde Street Pier